NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair speaks to his caucus at the conclusion of the New Democratic Party (NDP) caucus strategy session on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, January 18, 2013.
Credits: REUTERS/Patrick Doyle
“I have always enjoyed my time at Crossroads with Michael Coren. He is fair, balanced, and intelligent, and I will return to Crossroads and his television show whenever he asks me.”
These are the words of Jack Layton. In fact, similar sentiments were written and signed on a photograph of Jack, that was placed on a wall at the Crossroads Centre in Burlington, Ont. He was, you see, a regular guest on the 3,000 episodes of The Michael Coren Show on the CTS network that is under the Crossroads umbrella.
I mention this because Crossroads is the Christian organization that has just been ridiculously condemned in the media, and accused of being “un-Canadian” by Jack’s successor, Thomas Mulcair.
The new NDP leader also absurdly stated that the group supported the views of the Ugandan government regarding the criminalization and possible execution of homosexuals.
Good Lord, if you knew the Crossroads people and culture you would weep at the injustice of it all. The reason for this witch-hunt is someone managed to find an obscure and insulting paragraph on a Crossroads website comparing homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality. Thing is, the management at Crossroads came across that same paragraph some time ago and ordered that it be removed immediately.
The journalists who “discovered” the statement and claimed that it was only removed when they began asking questions seem to be misled, or are misleading. Cached links or copies may still exist, but there is little the Crossroads management can do about that. The result, however, was that the development wing of Crossroads was threatened with losing government funding, used to dig wells and bring clean water to Uganda, and save the lives of the poor and hungry.
It’s been doing this with enormous courage and success for 30 years. So the result of the antics of Mulcair, a few journalists and a handful of gay activists is that more Africans may have suffered, if not died. But all that matters, of course, is that the Tories are attacked and no gay person ever has any feelings hurt.
In almost 13 years at Crossroads I never heard a nasty word about gay people. Neither, I’m sure did my frequent guests such as NDP MPs Peggy Nash, Brian Masse, Olivia Chow, Andrew Cash, Irene Mathyssen, Joe Comartin, Dave Christopherson, Linda Duncan and Wayne Marston.
Or former NDP Ontario leader Howard Hampton and his successor, Andrea Horwath. Or NDP MPPs Cheri DiNovo, Rosario Marchese, and Michael Prue. Or Canada’s first openly gay premier, Kathleen Wynne — who appeared many times and told me how much she enjoyed the experience. Or gay leaders Michael Leshner, Brent Hawkes and Doug Elliott.
Yes, of course Crossroads is an evangelical group and believes that sex is only acceptable in marriage between a man and a woman. If you disagree, fine.
But millions of Canadians believe this, in love and kindness. Nor does it in any way disqualify someone from bringing vital aid to Africa, invariably with more success than secular alternatives.
It’s been a week of shame for Canadian journalists and politicians.
I wonder what Crossroads friend and supporter Jack Layton would have thought about the new, gay, leftist McCarthyism?